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Something to Think About

Something to Think About

You’ve heard it a million times—write the book of your heart. But what if the book of your heart doesn’t fit into the market? Sometimes, the book of your heart can start a whole new trend. But what if it doesn’t? What if there are no takers for the book of your heart?

Should you write for the market? There’s no easy answer and it depends on the writer. Don’t write a book you hate because that’s what’s selling. It will show in your writing that you hate the book. Editors won’t fall for the ruse and neither will readers. The writer has to love the book before anyone else can. 

Should you follow the latest trend? It depends. First—can you write a book that follows the latest trend and love it? Second—by the time you finish the book, the trend may have changed. Third—how bad do you want to be published?

Right now, Amish is big and has been for several years. I have no desire to read, much less write about the Amish. No offense to Amish writers or Amish people, it’s just not my thing. If I tried to write about the Amish, it would show that it’s not my thing.

My thing is Contemporary Romance. Not at the top of publisher’s lists of needs these days. Amish or Historicals top most guideline lists. And though I long to write longer length Contemporary Romance, they’re not selling right now, unless the writer already has their foot in the door. I don’t.

But I do have my foot in the door with category Contemporary Romance. So, I’ll stick with what’s working for me and try for longer length when the market changes. If Contemporary Romance is your thing, category is the place to go at the moment.

If your genre isn’t selling well, should you change genres? Only if you can change genres and love the book. And along the way, you may realize what you thought you wanted to write—isn’t what you want to write.

I started out writing Romantic Suspense, but discovered I stink at action scenes and I don’t like researching guns and dead bodies. I switched to Contemporary Romance. When I wrote a romance with a married couple who’d separated, an agent told me that I should make it a Women’s Fiction instead. I did and decided I wanted to write Women’s Fiction.

But by the time I finished changing the book into Women’s Fiction, that trend hit a downward spiral. Then one of my romances sold and became a series, followed by another romance series. Somewhere in there it hit me, I’d only written one Women’s Fiction and a dozen or so romances. Even my early attempts at Romantic Suspense could be tweaked into romance.

So if you’ve written a book that doesn’t fit the market, can you tweak it until it does? If so, would you still love it? If so, you might want to give it a try. Or set it aside and write something you love that does fit the market. Either way, keep the original version in case the market changes. Or in case you sell something else first and you become so famous publishers clamor for anything you write.

Hey, we can dream, can’t we? We’re writers.

  1. Jenny Miller05-28-12

    Girl, this exact subject is on my heart right now, and I have no answers.Probably won’t until I get published. But I love the blog and I can completely sympathize with it.

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